healthcare reform

American healthcare: Business as usual

I’m going to file this under the category of Saturn concluding its travel through Virgo, the sign of health and the fragile ecosystem that makes up the body/mind/spirit system of the human being.  Saturn forces us to face reality – it’s the cosmic wake-up call.

Last year during the debate on health care, one of the GOP talking point was that the American healthcare system is the “best in the world.”  In fact, Richard Shelby of Alabama said “[the healthcare bill] will be the first steps in destroying the best health care system the world has ever known.”

Unfortunately, talking points do not create reality, and Reuters reports that a new study from the Commonwealth Fund shows that the United States ranks last in quality of health care when compared to Britain, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand.  The Commonwealth Fund is a private foundation whose mission statement aims to “promote a high performing health care system” in the United States.  Its Board of Directors includes Medicare experts, physicians, hospital administrators, researchers, and executives at investment firms.

In 2007, health spending was $7,290 per person in the United States, more than double that of any other country in the survey.

Australians spent $3,357, Canadians $3,895, Germans $3,588, the Netherlands $3,837 and Britons spent $2,992 per capita on health in 2007. New Zealand spent the least at $2,454.

This is a big rise from the Fund’s last similar survey, in 2007, which found Americans spent $6,697 per capita on healthcare in 2005, or 16 percent of gross domestic product.

“We rank last on safety and do poorly on several dimensions of quality,” Schoen told reporters. “We do particularly poorly on going without care because of cost. And we also do surprisingly poorly on access to primary care and […]

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By |2019-03-27T09:08:37-04:00June 24th, 2010|Health & Healing, Politics|Comments Off on American healthcare: Business as usual

The Hard Health Care Choices

An article in USA Today highlights the difficult choices that must made as we face the spiraling costs of health care.  This is the lesson of Saturn (tests and challenges) traveling through Virgo (the care and maintenance of the body):

Within a year of starting dialysis, more than half of older nursing home residents die, and nearly another third experience a significant decline in their ability to perform simple tasks, such as feeding themselves, researchers report today. The fastest-growing group of U.S. patients starting dialysis is those 75 and older, many of whom have health problems other than kidney failure, such as dementia or heart disease.

Some observers have questioned whether dialysis, which typically is performed three days a week for three or four hours at a time, is the best option for such patients.
Many doctors assume that palliative care is “a death sentence” for patients with permanent kidney failure, internist Robert Arnold, director of palliative care at the University of Pittsburgh, and nephrologist Mark Zeidel, of Harvard University, write in an editorial accompanying the study.

But, they write, small studies of frail elderly patients with permanent kidney failure suggest that death rates and quality of life don’t differ much between those who go on dialysis and those who don’t. “We must define who among this population will benefit most from dialysis and who will benefit most from conservative therapy.”

Conservative punduts decrying the use of “death panels” ignore the fact that such panels […]

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By |2009-10-20T10:50:10-04:00October 20th, 2009|Health & Healing|Comments Off on The Hard Health Care Choices

Astrology and the Kaiser Healthcare Poll

Now this is interesting and mirrors what I suspected was the case.  The Kaiser Family Foundation has published new poll numbers with answers to two questions:

  1. It’s more important than ever now to tackle the problem of healthcare; or
  2. We can’t afford to tackle healthcare now.

The first opposition of Uranus (change) to Saturn (not change) occurred on November 3, election day.  At that time there was the widest disparity of opinions on this subject.  The second phase of the cycle occurred in February, and you can see the divergence at that point.  Chiron and Neptune were also conjunct at that time.

The second phase of the Jupiter/Chiron/Neptune conjunction occurred at the end of May, and at that point healing and healthcare (Chiron) evidently became a greater concern for the public as the gap in public opinion began to shrink, despite the violent town hall meetings that occured this summer.  By August the gap was at its smallest, diverging again in September with the opposition of Saturn and Uranus.

It will be interesting to see what will happen over the next few months as Saturn enters Libra and begins to square Pluto.  I suspect that there will be a greater desire to agree and form alliances under the Libra influence, and the square to Pluto could bestow a greater sense of impending danger which needs to be addressed.

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By |2009-09-29T07:11:17-04:00September 29th, 2009|Health & Healing|Comments Off on Astrology and the Kaiser Healthcare Poll
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